DEDICATED TO THE BELOVED MEMORY OF JAMES HUDSON ATKINSON
WHO MINISTERED TO THIS CHURCH 1911-1919.
HE INSPIRED AND GENEROUSLY HELPED HIS PEOPLE TO BUILD THIS CHURCH AND HALL, TO BE A SHRINE OF THEIR WORSHIP AND A SCHOOL OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE AND KNOWLEDGE. HIS BEST MONUMENT IS IN LIVES MADE BETTER BY HIS PRESENCE. HE LIVED IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD HERE, AND PASSING THROUGH THE GRAVE AND GATE OF DEATH, NOW LIVETH UNTO GOD FOR EVERMORE.
I left today's service keen to find out more about the man whose life was such that his bereaved congregation of 1919 felt moved to describe him in that way, whose character penetrated the culture of the place just as his memorial stone became a mark of permanence on its walls. The ecclesiology; the exemplary leadership; the fashioner of lives: maybe there will be more to discover in the 1920 collection (by a J. O. Atkinson) of James Hudson Atkinson's sermons and addresses held in Liverpool Record Office. But if not, the people's plaque on the sanctuary wall is actually a biography in itself, a lesson in how to live and lead, which for the first twenty-plus years of my life I soaked in, Sunday after Sunday.